Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Catholic, and all you other Christians at sea. It’s time for another Weekly Newsreel brought to you again this week by the fine folks at Acts of the Apostasy, home of the 3 1/2 Time-Outs Tuesday. Now off to press.
The Catechism tells us that "every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation." A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes.” Given that, we’re not quite sure what to make of the article published in the December 1946 issue of Atlantic Monthly (via Weird Universe) which chronicled how scientists working for the United States government in World War II tried to devise a bomb which would deliver swarms of bats with incendiary capsules attached to them. The idea was that the bats would find attics, lofts, and other hard to reach places to roost in, and then burst into flame, causing fires which would burn down countless numbers of Japanese paper houses. The Americans eventually abandoned the idea because they didn’t want to be seen as engaging in biological warfare (bats carry a number of nasty diseases) and we here are kind of glad they did so. While not being canon lawyers, we can’t help but see the dumping of hordes of flaming bats onto a civilian population as somehow being “indiscriminate”.
Fortunately, most scientists these days are working on studies and surveys rather than engineering animals for mass destruction (although, to be honest, the latter kind of scientist still makes for more entertaining Roger Corman movies). For example, back in November 2011, results were published from a study by the University of British Columbia that suggested that "where there are religious majorities -- that is, in most of the world -- atheists are among the least trusted people…” Unable to pinpoint exactly why religious people mistrust atheists, the lead author of the study group, Will Gervais, speculated that “while atheists may see their disbelief as a private matter on a metaphysical issue, believers may consider atheists' absence of belief as a public threat to cooperation and honesty.” Well, maybe. But perhaps the answer is more simple than that. Just a few days ago, an estimated 20,000 atheists and agnostics gathered in Washington D.C. for the first ever Reason Rally, at which time the keynote speaker Richard Dawkins called to those in the crowd to confront those who hold beliefs such as the true presence in the Eucharist and “Mock them! Ridicule them! In public!” How rational and enlightened. But maybe it goes to show that the answer Mr. Gervais’ question about why religious people don’t trust atheists might simply be because too many modern atheists turn out to be complete anti-social buttheads.
And finally, speaking of disgruntled atheists, a study reported earlier this year in The American Journal of Psychiatry noted that the offspring of Protestant or Catholic parents were 76% less likely than the offspring of non-religious parents to experience an episode of major depression. These results are especially interesting when combined with a just published study by Professors Sascha Becker (University of Warwick, U.K.) and Ludger Woessmann (University of Munich, Germany) which shows conclusively that Protestants have higher suicide rates than Catholics. The math seems pretty clear:
Atheists (are less happy than) Protestants (are less happy than) Catholics
Therefore, if you want the best chance of being happy, you should choose to be…
Now, for all of my non-Catholic readers out there, please don’t bite down on that arsenic capsule just yet. Take note that both the studies mentioned above have some possible geographical issues that might (or might not) possibly skew the results in favor of Catholics. So you see, even in your scientifically proven unhappier lives, there’s always hope.
And on that note, we sign off as is our custom, with the immortal words of the great Les Nessman. Good evening, and may the good news be yours.